Skip to main content

Full text of "Long Lance"

See other formats


of them at all, and he had to end the ceremony
without accomplishing his aim*

But when he did get hold of the spirit whom
he was seeking he would become excited and talk
away so fast that we could hardly hear what he
was saying. It seemed that he had to hurry to
get in what he wanted to say before the spirit
departed. If it was a cure he was after, the dying
patient lying there in the medicine lodge would
also become excited; and we have seen them get
up and walk. If it was information the medicine-
man was seeking3 he would make his inquiries in
short parables of his owns and he would be
answered by the spirits in these same unintelligible
parables, which later had to be explained to us.
It was our language, but it was phrased in a way
that we could not understand. And3 further-
more, it was the ancient method of speaking our
language—the way it was spoken a long time ago
—and only our oldest men could understand some
of the phraseology and old words.

But the part of the ceremony which made us
youngsters afraid came at the conclusion of the
medicine-man's interview with the spirits,

These interviews ended in many exciting ways,
but always the final scene was accompanied by a
howling wind, which would start to roar across
the top of the lodge as the spirits ceased talking.
The big medicine-teepee would rock and quiver